A Taste for the Contemporary
Catalogue d’une belle Collection de Tableaux des Ecoles Flamande, Hollandoise, Allemande et Francoise; Miniatures, Gouaches, Pastels, Dessins, Marbres, Figures de Bronze, & Bronze dorés, Porcelaines du Japon, de la Chine, &c. Laques, Bijoux, Meubles de Boule, & autres objets de curiosité. Composant le Cabinet de… Par J.B.P. Lebrun. Dont la Vente se fera le Mercredi 31 Mars 1784, & jours suivans…
2 p.l., 94 pp., 11 pp. schedule of sale. 8vo (200 x 130 mm.), orig. marbled paper wrappers preserved in red morocco-backed marbled boards, black morocco lettering-pieces on spine. Paris: Lebrun, 1784.
A rare sale catalogue, priced throughout in two distinct hands and with many buyers’ names, of the first Dubois sale, in which paintings by contemporary French artists and Northern old masters were almost equally represented. The second sale was also conducted by Lebrun, on 20 December 1785 (Lugt 3965), and the third, organized by Paillet, took place on 18 December 1788 (Lugt 4367).
“It was during the 1780s that, for the first time, a number of collections came onto the market in which the order of French and Northern schools was reversed…More adroit was the jeweller, goldsmith and art dealer Jean Dubois (received by the guild in August 1781) ‘determined to acquire whatever might appeal to today’s taste’ — namely, French painting — who held several successful auctions during the 1780s. In that of March 1784, paintings by Philip James de Loutherbourg and Pierre-Antoine de Machy fetched prices previously reached only by Vernet’s seascapes and Greuze’s drames bourgeois…”–C. Bailey, Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris, p. 28.
A contemporary annotator has added in ink nearly all prices and noted the purchases of Lebrun, Lebrun jeune, Hamon, Basan, Desmarets, Devouge, Le Rouge, Dulac, Charion, Lefevre, Verrier, Cornillon, Remy, Quenay, etc. In blue ink, a second, more recent connoisseur has filled in most of the gaps, even correcting the first annotator’s phonetic spelling on several occasions. Bound at the end is the rare schedule of sale.
A fine copy with useful provenance information and the original wrappers preserved. Amusing engraved bookplate of [H]enry [Pannier] (1853-1935), the Parisian art dealer and great collector of sale catalogues, on the front paste-down, and stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title.
❧ Lugt 3701.
Item ID: 6764